Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Nakkataiyya Of Chetganj

World famous Nakkataiyya Of Chetganj was staged on October 23, 2013 night in Varanasi. Several attractive and tastefully decorated tableaux were taken out to mark the occasion.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Karwa Chauth

Karwa Chauth. is a Hindu festival that is observed by the women in the northern part of  India. Very popular in the States of Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, this festival usually comes in Kartik month in the Indian calendar. Celebrated by unmarried girls and women too, the festival is symbolic of women praying to have a good husband.
The name Karwa Chauth comes from the words Karwa meaning pot and Chauth meaning fourth in Hindi. Thus, the festival comes on the fourth day of the Krishna Paksha or darker night of the Indian month of Kartik. It is not exactly known how the festival started getting celebrated, but it is said that the women used to observe a fast when their husbands used to go on military campaigns and long official assignments. Gradually this became a practice. Added to this, the fact that this was harvest time, signified prayers for success and prosperity. So the earthen pot or the Karwa was filled with harvested wheat as women sat around it thanking and praying for the welfare of all.
Since it is a festival by the women, for the women and of the women, the females indulge in a lot of cosmetic purchase for Karwa Chauth. They buy traditional ornaments, cosmetics, Karwa lamps, henna and decorated plates. Women get up early in the morning, eat before sunrise, and fast throughout the day till they see the moon through a sieve. Then their husbands feed them a spoonful of water and the women break their fast. Sargi is a food packet usually sent by the mother in law for the daughter in law during Karwa Chauth.
It is a day of revelry as people exchange clay pots, bangles, sarees, and home made candies. In the evening, the women have a ceremony whence they celebrate singing songs of the Goddess and are dressed in the best of their finery. The day ends with prayers for a better life and a better society and this important function is thus a much awaited affair.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ramnagar Ramlila

The traditional staging the Ramlila fair is held at the Ramnagar, Benares (fort of the Kashi Naresh) located at the banks of the river Ganges. It was started by the Kashi Naresh Maharaja Udit Narayan Singh in the year 1830. It got fame in all the areas of the Ramnagar and Varanasi as well as nearby area of the Varanasi. A large pilgrim crowd come here to see the fair and Ramleela . The Ramnagar Ramlila is apprehended for 31 days and famous for its fulsome sets, conversations and illustrious display.
The whole Ramnagar city serves as a set in order to represent the various scenes for Ashok Vatika, Panchavati, Janakpuri, Lanka etc. Local actors at the Ramnagar play a variety of characters of the Ramayanas. Some of the important roles are the Ram, Ravana, Janaki, Hanuman, Lakshman, Jatayu, Dashrath, and Janaka. Dussehra festival is started by the parade of the Kashi Naresh rides on a colorful elephant. Hundreds of the priests are there to narrate the Ramcharitmanas text.
At the closing stages of each episode daily, an arti is executed by the priest with the chants of Har Har Mahadev or Bolo! Raja Ramchandra ki Jai. The environment becomes full of sounds of the audiences there. After all an attractive jhanki is presented there in front of fort. On the last day of the Ramlila over a million pilgrims arrive there to see how Rama conquers the demon king Ravana.
India is a territory of the numerous festivals which held each year with cycle of the seasons. Fairs and festivals with different mythological interpretation in India make an integral part for the Indian Culture and Heritage.